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Mystics use balanced attack to dispatch Wings

Sportsnaut
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Natasha Cloud collected 14 points and seven assists and Ariel Atkins added 14 and six, respectively, to fuel the visiting Washington Mystics to an 87-77 victory over the Dallas Wings on Thursday in Arlington, Texas.

Rookie Shakira Austin, Myisha Hines-Allen and Alysha Clark each had 13 points to propel the Mystics (18-11) to their third straight win and seventh in their last nine games overall.

Washington moved into a tie for fourth place with the Seattle Storm (18-11), who dropped an 88-83 decision to the Connecticut Sun on Thursday. The Mystics host the Storm on both Saturday and Sunday.

Washington, which shot 56.4 percent from the floor and 60.0 percent (9 of 15) from 3-point range, made it look easy despite playing without star Elena Delle Donne (rest). The two-time WNBA MVP averaged 23.4 points in her team’s previous five games.

Dallas’ Teaira McCowan scored a career-high 27 points and added 11 rebounds. She scored 24 points on three occasions during her rookie season in 2019.

Arike Ogunbowale had 19 points and Allisha Gray added 12 for the Wings (12-16), who made just 5 of 22 attempts (22.7 percent) from 3-point range en route to losing for the seventh time in 10 games.

Hines-Allen set the tone early with a steal and layup on the first possession of the game. She scored seven quick points to stake Washington to a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Mystics kept their foot on the gas, with Tianna Hawkins making a pair of layups and a 3-pointer before Hines-Allen sank a mid-range jumper to extend their lead to 42-21 with 5:14 to play in the half.

Gray countered with a 3-pointer to ignite a 13-4 run for the Wings. However, Atkins converted twice from beyond the arc as Washington pushed its advantage to 56-36 at halftime.

The Wings clamped down defensively and trimmed the Mystics’ lead to 73-64 after Kayla Thornton’s layup with 6:48 to play, however Cloud sank a long jumper and a 3-pointer on consecutive possessions.

Washington was not seriously challenged the rest of the way.

–Field Level Media